Late in the afternoon, the disciples were sitting in the warm sunshine, listening intently to their Savior preach one last time. Some stared in amazement, forever in awe of the man who had died and been raised back to life. Some kneeled on the ground, worshipping their Lord, too in awe to even look at His face, and still some stood back a ways, doubting and questioning. And then Jesus spoke, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
This is the passage we are digging into this month in our LeadHer Local Chapters as we talk about our witness in context of relationships.
Sometimes I read this passage and wonder what was running through the minds of the disciples, Go and make disciples of all nations. ALL nations? Jesus, how are we supposed to do that? Granted, this was a time when travel took months by foot. And the voyages of the Bible times hardly extended past the borders of the common day Middle East, Northern Africa and Eastern Europe. You mean SOME nations, right? Whether by sea or by land, these men were called to go and go they did.
Today, many read this same passage and feel the calling to pack up their gear, their dreams, their income and their families and embark on mission to a country hungry for God. But today, we have a different advantage than the disciples could never have dreamed. Today, we have airplanes, motor-powered ships, trains, cars, helicopters and the Internet. We thrive in a society in which distance is no longer a means for disconnection. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms have become the new way the world communicates. But with the great gift of connection comes a great responsibility. Our presence on social media has the power to be one of the greatest ways we enhance or harm our witness. We post a status, a tweet, or a picture on our profile, thinking little of the hundreds, even thousands of people that are reached and how a single statement typed in less than 30 seconds can cause a ripple effect that either shines a light or extinguishes one.
I challenge you to consider who follows you on social media: your friends of course, fellow church members, family you know and some you don’t know, old high school acquaintances, the teenage daughter of one of your best friends, the cashier you met in the grocery store, your co-workers both past and present, your husband’s co-workers, your father’s coworkers that have known you since you were born, missionary friends overseas, your friends friends, your daughter’s friends, teachers, fellow students, neighbors, church leaders, people who have walked away from church, people who are grieving, people who are addicted, people who are going through a divorce, people who are struggling with their health, those who have lost a baby, those who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, those who are getting married, those who are hiding the scars of domestic abuse, those who love Jesus, those who don’t and those who are comparing who you are on the internet with who you are in church and that witness may determine their desire to pursue God.
Our words matter, whether they are shared from a platform, spoken quietly around the dinner table, or typed on a status. Are your words pointing others to Christ? Do they show an authentic picture of a transformed life, of grace, of love? Do your social media followers see your name in their social media feed and automatically associate you with Jesus?
We live in a time when the measure of our witness is impossible to calculate. Our influence every day reaches a significant part of the world. My challenge to you today is to evaluate how bright is your light as you “go and make disciples of all nations” in your community, in your schools, in your churches, in your workplace, and on the internet.